A piece of jewellery can be a symbolic object par excellence and great jewellery today has become appreciated as much for its aesthetic qualities and for what it represents as for its intrinsic value; the nature of the gems that come from the earth whether considered precious or semi-precious.
Anne Schofield Antiques in leafy Woollahra at Sydney specialises in unique jewellery both old and new.
She is delighted to present a Spring Exhibition and Sale of handcrafted jewellery from Lisa Black, a modern designer in a society that needs to recycle the old and make it all brand new, producing jewellery “… crafted for the modern woman trekking the globe with dignity, grace and power.”
In her first decade in business Lisa Black has earned international recognition, the Museum of Arts and Design and Bergdorf Goodman (New York) as well as Saks Fifth Avenue (San Francisco) distributing her collections.
Lisa Black has her atelier in Byron Bay on the easternmost point of mainland Australia in New South Wales at Byron Bay, long recognised as a haven for the creative community.
The local Arakwai people, first custodians of the land gave it a name that means meeting place.
Then English Lieutenant James Cook sailing by on the Endeavour exploring the Australian coastline re-named it for a fellow naval officer he admired John Byron, a circumnavigator of the world.
He was the man who would become grandfather of the famous English romantic poet Lord Byron.
Romance, meeting special people and travelling are all experiences American born-Australian jewellery designer Lisa Black, embraces in her life.
Her background in both landscape and environmental design and passion for fine arts and horticulture stood her in good stead when with her family she moved to Cape Byron a decade ago.
As well as a change of scenery she decided to change her career path.
Living in New York as a child, her grandmother allowed her to access her own jewellery treasures and formed a love of old gems and began collecting old beads.
Honing her love for jewellery over the years when studying in London she met her now husband tribal art specialist Sydney born Robert Bleakley.
Having founded Sotheby’s Australia during the early 80’s, he was working at Sotheby’s in London where she was at university and eventually she ended up in Australia when Robert came home.
At that time she gained a position as a landscape architect and an architecture design tutor at Sydney University.
There she met renowned Sydney jeweller Rob Gardner and together they created a few unique pieces incorporating tribal remnants discovered at auctions around the town.
Her jewellery passion was coming to the fore.
She began creating what are now regarded as her signature pieces of unique hand crafted jewellery in 2005 in Byron Bay, after meeting Jan Hoot.
An artisan he brings Lisa Black’s vision of unique handcrafted jewellery collections to functional fruition using tools inherited from his father, a master silversmith.
They share an aesthetic sensibility, an eye for and attention to very fine detail, as well as a high standard of quality and excellence.
This is very important when you are creating a successful final product.
Wholly original in presentation Lisa Black’s works are favoured by many of Australia’s haute-couture fashion designers, who use her jewellery on the runway to complement their clothes.
Lisa Black goes about bringing her ideas into focus first, then to formulate each new design using materials from different cultures as well as pre-used gems. Then she and Jan give them new life.
At a work bench loaded with the workmanlike objects Jan coaxes the beauty from a huge variety of materials as he creates the one of kind commissions and the fabulous collections, which are themed such as ‘Ancient Black‘, ‘Black Luxury‘ and ‘Tribal Black’.
Mixing cultures, ages and materials, Lisa explores the exotic, handcrafting jewellery that transforms past to present.
Corundum Rubies, Rose cut Sapphires, Black Pearls, Black Diamonds and Australian old horn are only some of the special materials at the height of drop dead chic, especially when worked into 22k gold.
Rings, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, each make a unique statement about the designer and the prospective owner.
The collection features pieces set with beads such as lapis lazuli and turquoise used by ancient civilizations, including Egypt, Mesopotamia and Indonesia.
Lisa comments – “these wonderful elements possess a magical blend of story, a mix of the primitive and sublime. I also feel these relics are given another life as they provide a glimpse into the mystery of a disappearing world” Lisa said.
This is also a theme that has fascinated Anne Schofield throughout her forty five years in the Antique Jewellery business as well, and so they dovetail nicely.
Today Lisa Black enjoys the freedom of the artist influenced and Inspired by the beauty of Byron’s natural surroundings
Her studio where the magic happens overlooks bushland.
Lisa Black loves nothing more than creating that bespoke special piece for a client wanting to present it to someone they love, to cherish and enjoy wearing.
Jewellery whether antique or contemporary and its gems have a fascinating story to tell, of both origin and design, of giving and receiving and the meaning attached to each piece.
Since the 1920’s the ideal jewel has been designed to showcase a particular dress, particular woman, to suit their tastes, lifestyle, colouring and features.
Jewellery (jewelry) given with love has over the centuries become a reflection of the star status and success of the giver.
Whether purchased for yourself or a significant other, we would have to say an extraordinary necklace with rare and fascinating by Lisa Black and offered by Anne Schofield Antiques, certainly fits the bill.
The perfect and most discerning Christmas present for any man in love to give the girl of his dreams.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015
Thursday October 22 – Saturday October 31, 2015
36 Queen Street, Woollahra, NSW 2025